FAST CHICKEN MINESTRONE
Ok, so this isn't what you'd expect from a minestrone – even though in Italy a minestrone is exactly what this is – that is, a vegetable soup that can be fashioned in any number of ways. My fast version doesn't contain the expected dose of potatoes and rice, nor does it take 3 hours to simmer into a melting mass of vegetables. But believe me, it tastes delicious, and on a cold winter night, it comforts as well as any classic rendition.
Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
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1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, sliced into thin half-moons
2 large carrots
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups canned, chopped plum tomatoes with their juices
4 cups water
1 to 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken (breasts or thighs)
2 zucchini (1 pound)
2 cans (15 ounces each) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (packed) fresh parsley or basil leaves, or a combination of herbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
|1.||Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté until it takes on some color, 4 to 5 minutes. While the onion is cooking, slice the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds.|
|2.||Add the carrots and cabbage to the onion, cover the saucepan, and cook until they begin to wilt down, 5 minutes. (Add some water if they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.)|
|3.||Add the tomatoes with their juices and the water. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, 10 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, cut the chicken and zucchini into 1/2-inch cubes.|
|4.||Add the chicken, zucchini, and beans to the pan, cover, and simmer to cook through and soften, 10 minutes. While this is cooking, finely chop the parsley.|
|5.||Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley. Serve the Parmesan on the side.|
Excerpted from MONDAY-TO-FRIDAY CHICKEN copyright © 1998 Michele Urvater.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.